Sophie Ballo had no choice but to cheat on running. The pavement pounding of too many marathons had taken its toll on her body, so friends convinced her to take up riding. She no longer cheats on running. It’s not cheating when you take a job at Specialized and become one of the fastest riders in the building. It’s called commitment.
Day Seven - Mesquite to Las VegasSeptember 18, 2012
The ride is over. The totals are in. 490.6 miles. 27,991 feet of climbing. 29 hours and 13 minutes of riding time. 5 PB&J sandwiches. 7 Cokes, 4 Diet Cokes, and 1 Dr. Pepper. A whole bunch of Gus and Chomps and cookies and granola bars and fig newtons. 70 Tweets. 1 massage. 2 Fast Food Feasts (or Dirty Dinners as one fellow rider coined them). 15 QOMs on Strava, graciously given to me by The Queen of Pain herself, Rebecca Rusch.
These are all the numbers.
But numbers don’t make a ride.
Cyclists love data, especially roadies, to be sure. We track heart rates and power output and kilometers and elevation as if the ride didn't occur unless we record it. How many times have I seen (and written) “If it’s not Strava-ed it didn’t happen” on the facebook? A lot. These ride diaries somehow prove our fitness our hardcoreness or epicness to ourselves and others.
But good times on a bicycle can’t be quantified solely with mileage or climbing. I’ve been on wonderful rides that were 20 miles and horrible ones that were 60, and vica versa. All that being said, this has been hands down the best ride of my life, each and every day. Why?
Because of the company I rode with, the friends I made, and the memories I now have. Shared experiences create bonds, and this week has been nothing if not an experience. There was the time Rebecca saved her own butt and the butts of others with her amazing bike handling skills, bunny hopping a dangerous truck tie that had fallen on the shoulder. There was the constant Cheech and Chong like banter of Kyle Davenport and Matt Neugebauer, zipping over my head at dinner and breakfast and all time inbetween while I tried to breathe between laughter. There were the Moon Boots. There was my own tweeting and blogging and instagramming, which joined together with Kevin Rouse and Yuri Hauswald’s wonderful work brought the ride to the world in an immediate, meaningful way. There were all of these things and so many more.
This is what makes a ride.
So now, even though we are all about to go our several ways, I know that should we meet again at random at any point down the road, we’ll be able to hop on our bikes and take an amazing ride as if no time had passed. And that, more than being epic or crushing it or climbing mountains or anything, is what I love about cycling: the universal bond that all cyclists share through their love of riding bikes, and the friendships that spring from that bond.
Ok, I know, Kumbaya and rainbows and unicorns. This is all admittedly pretty corny stuff here. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
And who wants to live in a world without unicorns anyways?
September 18, 2012
September 17, 2012
September 16, 2012
September 15, 2012
September 14, 2012
September 13, 2012
September 12, 2012
September 11, 2012